Road unkind for DSU baseball in another loss to FPU

File photo of Dixie State University vs. Montana State University, Baseball, St. George, Utah, Feb. 24, 2017, | Photo by Kevin Luthy, St. George News

FRESNO, Calif. – No. 7 Dixie State dropped the final game of a four-game Pacific West Conference series at Fresno Pacific by a 9-5 count Saturday afternoon at the FPU Diamond. The Trailblazers suffered just their second series loss of the season as FPU took three of the four games played between the two sides.

Trailing 3-2 heading into the top of the fifth, Dixie State loaded the bases with no outs as Drew McLaughlin reached on a Sunbird error, while Trey Kamachi and Logan Porter each drew four-pitch walks. However, DSU managed only one run, which came on a Tyler Mildenberg fly out, to tie the game at 3-3.

FPU then answered with two runs in the home half of the fifth, followed by another run in the sixth, to extend to a 6-3 advantage. The Trailblazers mounted one more charge in the seventh as Porter laced an RBI-double to left field, then came home two batters later on a Jake Davison run-scoring single to pull DSU to within a run at 6-5. Miles Bice then earned a four-pitch walk to extend the inning and move the potential tying run into scoring position. But FPU reliever Tyler Rumbaugh (W, 2-0) induced an inning-ending fly out to preserve the Sunbirds’ lead.

The Sunbirds would put the game away with three runs in the bottom of the eighth as FPU strung together three one-out hits to plate one of the runs, while a crucial two-out Trailblazer throwing error led to two more runs that all but put the game out of reach. DSU did manage to get a pair of runners on base in the ninth with a Kamachi single and a two-out error, but FPU closer Matt Bergandi got Bice to line out to left field to end the game.

Kamachi, Porter and Davison each collected two hits to lead DSU, which was outhit 13-10 on the afternoon. Sophomore starter Preston Hannay (L, 2-2) pitched into the fifth inning, though he did surrender seven hits and five runs with three strikeouts.

DSU falls to 25-9 overall and 14-6 in the PacWest. The Trailblazers will close out their 2017 regular season home schedule with a four-game series vs. Academy of Art next weekend at Bruce Hurst Field. Thursday’s series opener will begin at 6 p.m., followed by a doubleheader Friday at 2 p.m., and Saturday’s finale will start at noon. Saturday’s finale will also serve as Senior Day as 14 Trailblazers will play in their final regular season home game.

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